The Best Medium Alternatives for Online Writers

Diversify your online publishing by exploring Medium alternatives. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks that may make one a better fit than another for you.

Medium is easily the best-known monetized blogging platform, but it's far from the only game in town. Many bloggers are branching out into other publishing platforms and getting huge audiences and decent paychecks.

Each of the newer platforms has its own business model and its own group of potential subscribers. 

1. News Break

The best Medium alternatives for online writers

News Break features a combination of syndicated news from other outlets and original reporting from their Creators. There are 45 million active users each month who clock around 1.5 billion page views.

Until recently, News Break guaranteed a fixed $1000 monthly payout for creators who met publishing minimums. However, that program was eliminated as of April 1, 2021. Now, they offer what they describe as “competitive rates” that includes ad share revenue and referral bonuses. 

Unlike many self-publishing platforms, News Break does not let just anyone publish with them. Prospective creators must apply. Those accepted are expected to publish content regularly.

This site is a good fit for those who wish to write more news-focused content and those who can provide a unique local perspective. Readers visit the site either via desktop or their mobile app on Android or IOS.

2. Ghost CMS

Ghost is an open source content management system that writers and journalists can use to publish and monetize their writing. The user interface is minimalist and simple, making it a good fit for those who are less tech-savvy. They offer SEO tools that can help you get indexed well and bring more people to your page. You can purchase hosting on a Ghost server with your own custom domain and charge a monthly subscription fee.

3. WordPress

wordpress, blogging, blogger
WordPress offers a wealth of templates with a wide range of clean and professional looks

Chances are, you've visited hundreds of sites that are powered by WordPress. This CMS offers a wealth of templates with a wide range of clean and professional looks.

If you are not ready to invest any money in hosting, you can host a blog on WordPress.com. These can be free publications, or monetized with sponsored posts, affiliate marketing or through other means.

Hosting your own blog, however, gives you far more control and widens your monetization options. You can easily integrate a number of eCommerce platforms to add a storefront to your publication. You can also support your writing with advertising. You can even link to ebooks you've written and published on Amazon. 

The possible downside of using WordPress to start your own blog is that you will need to bring in all your own traffic. You won't have the benefit of an audience already on the site or app. However, hosting your own blog on your own domain means that you keep all of the revenue, after costs. 

4. Substack

Substack is a relatively new player that's made a big splash by attracting well-known top talent. This newsletter publisher allows writers to create email newsletters on any subject they please. Newsletter subscriptions work on a freemium model, with most publishers offering a free sign-up version alongside more valuable premium content. 

While Substack has a discovery engine on the front page of the site, successful publishers will also need to bring their own audience in through social media or advertising channels. 

5. Vocal Media

Medium alternatives: Vocal Media
The site offers both a free to use version and an upgraded Vocal+ option

Vocal Media is an open platform that hosts both nonfiction and fiction writing, as well as work in other mediums such as music and photography. Publishers are paid based on the number of reads their stories receive. At the time of this writing, the pay is $3.80 per 1000 reads for regular contributors and $6.00 per 1000 for Vocal+ creators. The site also hosts themed challenges where contributors can compete for cash and prizes. Earnings are payable into your Stripe account.

The site offers both a free-to-use version and an upgraded Vocal+ option. For $9.99 a month, creators get access to features that include a lower minimum payout, a higher rate per thousand views, lower fees on tips, and options like publishing to their own customized creator page. 

6. HubPages

Those who have been writing online for some time will likely recognize HubPages. First established in 2006, the site changed to a multi-side business model in 2016. Writers can publish articles on topics that include sports, politics, tech, lifestyle and more. Around 42 million users visit the HubPages Network each month.

The platform has a handful of different formats to fit different article types. Augmenting content with photos or illustrations is encouraged. Contributors are paid pasted on views of their content. You can also monetize using Hubpages plugins for Amazon and Google Adsense.

On the pro side, it's easy to create clean and professional looking content. In the con, column, however, are the earnings. While it is possible to make money on HubPages, many contributors report that earnings are low and inconsistent. 

The Final Word on Medium Alternatives

Smart writers diversify their platforms to get in front of a far wider audience than they'd ever reach on a single site. Test out a range of writing platforms to find the one to find the best medium alternatives for your writing and your subscribers.

FAQs About Medium Alternatives

Who are Medium's competitors?

Medium's competitors include Substack, News Break, Ghost CMS, and Vocal Media.

Is there a free version of Medium?

It is free to write on Medium. Writers can decide whether to share their articles for free or put them behind the Medium paywall.

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Author

  • Lara is a freelance writer currently located in the Florida Keys. She frequently covers health, wellness and how-to topics.

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